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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A tropical depression has strengthened into Tropical Storm Philippe as heavy rains continue over central and western Cuba, spreading northward across the Florida Keys and South Florida.

At 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, the storm was about 20 miles southwest of Havana, Cuba.

Philippe is moving toward the north near 29 mph (46 km/h) and this motion is expected to continue this evening, followed by a turn toward the northeast by early Sunday morning. A faster motion toward the northeast is expected on Sunday and continuing into Monday. On the forecast track, the center of Philippe will move off of the northern coast of Cuba and into the Straits of Florida this evening, and move across the Florida Keys or the southern tip of the Florida peninsula overnight, and across the northwestern Bahamas Sunday morning.

Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 40 mph (65 km/h) with higher gusts. Additional strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours.

Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 105 miles (165 km) mainly to the east and southeast of the center. A wind gust of 37 mph (59 km/h) was recently reported at Key West International Airport.

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for…
* Cuban provinces of Isla de la Juventud, La Habana, Ciudad de la Habana, Matanzas, Cienfuegos, and Villa Clara
* Northwestern Bahamas

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for…
* Craig Key to Golden Beach
* Central Bahamas


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